Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A silly story

This post is a tribute to my friend who patiently
indulged me for over half an hour as we walked around
in the freezing cold, trying to search for a panhandler.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

"Qu'ils mangent de la brioche!"

The earlier part of January was a tough month for me until I came to the conclusion that living each day with heartbreak is like eating layered cake.

I've tested out this analogy by sharing the idea with quite a few people. Sometimes I get a raised eyebrow, and sometimes my spiel elicits a snort. Once or twice, I've seen a slow smile creep onto my listener's face...a smile of recognition (atleast that's what I'd like to interpret it as). And when I see that happen...oh that moment is just sublime.

Here is the recipe:

Heartbreak - it hits the worst in the morning. You wake up with this heaviness in your chest. In the cake, this is the bottom layer. It is dense, bitter and rum soaked, and weighted down by the everyday normality that you have to maintain.

Then you open the door and you see that daylight is invigorating and the air that you deeply inhale is fresh...this positive impact on you is tremendous! But shortlived. Oh right, you remember're heartbroken. This moment is a very stingy layer of sweet strawberry jam spread thinly over the bottom layer.

Then there is unremarkable sponge cake filling...the parts of the day where you are gladly distracted and kept busy.

But then at some point of the day, you will lift your head up and see the world in such a different way. For me sometimes, I see slow motion beauty out the window - birds taking flight, or sunlight rimmed clouds luxuriating across the sky...things I wouldn't have been able to appreciate if I hadn't seen the more painful end of the experience spectrum. This is rich butter-cream icing that fill your taste buds with bliss (made of real butter, no shortening bullshit).

I wouldn't want to eat dense, bitter and rum soaked cake all day, and it's inadvisable to leave the bottom layer behind to rot on your dish . At the same time, one wouldn't really want to consume a glob of butter-cream all by itself either. Cake is best eaten by spearing a fork through all the layers and taking in the complexity of all the varying tastes and textures. And when you're done eating this cake, you can order a chocolate lava cake, or maybe a mango pudding (feel free to come up with your own recipe/analogies for these delectable dishes).

Afterall, isn't this what life is all about? Calorie intake?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

His Monologue

Last week, I sat beside a man on the bus who was so drunk he confused his inner monologue with the conversation he thought he was having with me.

As I sat there, the man leaned his head in and asked, "Are you Japanese?"

I don't look Japanese, and he sure as hell didn't either. I answered, "No. Are you?"

"Oh God, that's funny...Oh God, she answered me." He let out a roar of a laugh. "But my daughter is part Japanese."

"Oh, how old is your daughter?", I asked.

"She's sixteen." Then he turned towards the sky and said "Oh God, I can't believe I'm doing this...she could be my daughter's age."

Me: "Uh...doing what?"

Him: "Auuuuuuuuuuughhhhhhh God, I can't believe I'm doing this."

Me: "You can't believe you're having a conversation?"

Him: "Yeah, but I'm like...forty old are you?"

Me: "Um, I don't really feel comfortable telling..."

Him: "Oh God, that's too young. Auuugh, ok, this is my stop, I shouldn't be doing this. Have a good night."

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Her Monologue

Waiting for my bus the other day, I looked over to the woman pacing back and forth beside me. Grunting impatiently, she walks to the curb and peers out into the oncoming traffic. Turning back to me, she catches my eye and says "Which bus you waiting for?"

"Er...the 245"

With a smirk on her face, "Ha, I just saw that one, just passed by before you got here. Yup, you missed it."

"Haha, yeah, I know, I saw it on the way here."

"Yup, you missed sure missed it.", she reiterated.

(Again, I emit a dorky, assenting laugh out of politeness)

"Well, I sure hope my bus comes next, I've been waiting here for a long time. Had to work the day after boxing day, can you believe it? Everyone is off today, but not is the busiest day in fact. Yup, everyone gets the day off and I'm here working. Look at us, out here in the cold, waiting for our buses. I had to work today, can you believe it?"

"Well, maybe you get paid more to work today, no?"

She raises her eyebrow for a moment, "Yeah, I get paid more today. Yeah, some people out there don't get paid today, but I do, time and a half in fact."

"Well, then that's something to be happy about..." I trail off in a weak, small voice.

I'm not sure why, but I asked, "How was your Christmas?"

"Well, it's been a good Christmas, you know why? All my family is dead. Just had to cook for my husband. He just has a sister in Montreal. All we had to do was talk to them over the phone after dinner. She's been living there for over a year now."

I say nothing, and she continues.

"Yeah, it's nice to talk to her, haven't heard from her in a long time. My nephew though...geez, that boy. He couldn't even get on the phone to say Merry Christmas to his own uncle."

"Oh, maybe he wasn't available to?", I offered.

"Oh, he sure was, he was sitting right at the dinner table while his mother was on the phone and he would not even get up to say Merry Christmas to his uncle."

"Well, maybe he's shy?"

"Nope, nope. It's just rude. It's unacceptable. That boy should have gotten off his behind to talk to his uncle. That boy hasn't spoken to his uncle in years. He's 24 and he's in university, he should know better. Now tell me, isn't he rude? Isn't he just terrible?"

"Well, 24 is young, maybe he didn't know that it mattered so much to you two."

"Nope, unacceptable, he should know better. To think that he was sitting at that dinner table and couldn't even get up to say Merry Christmas to his uncle...that is just terrible. Can you believe it? Don't you think he's terrible?"


A very satisfied look appears on her face. Then her bus arrives and she bids me a happy new year. I say, "yes you too" and then I am left standing there, feeling just a little bit exploited.